Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Gaffe and the Aftermath

Anyone can make a gaffe, a slip of the tongue, and unintended mispronunciation. And I don't have a problem with that.  I don't look for hidden agendas. I don't look for subconscious meanings and intentions. Goodness gracious, I am Queen Foot-in-Mouth. I say the wrong thing all. the. time.

But what I've recently read about my state's challenger for governor is enough to make me incredibly upset and physically ill. This YouTube video has been making the rounds. In it, he accidentally uses the word "whore" instead of "her" in talking about the incumbent, Nikki Haley. Now some may argue that it was intentional or characteristic or not surprising (given their intense acrimony against his party).

However, what he said (or mis-said) is not what infuriates me. It was a mistake. It could have been an accident.  My shock and frustration comes from what happens a few seconds later. How I wish he had stopped, horrified at his slip-up and admonished those around him who were enjoying and reveling in it. But he laughs. Giggles. Shares a wide smile. Points and encourages the audience to continue their applause. He enjoys the limelight and levity that calling a woman - even by mistake - a whore can give him and his agenda. And given all the jovial camaraderie he is sharing with those around him, one might stereotypically guess that he was in a room full of members of the Old Boy network. But no, you can see women in the video. What?  Women?  Laughing along at one of their own being called (even by a slip of the tongue) one of the worst words you can call a woman?

I have tried to read as much as I could to see what people's reaction was to this bit of news. Sadly, there isn't much for me to read.  There hasn't been much of a reaction. And it makes me extremely sad. The only person who seems to care is Ann Romney, who spoke to CNN.

Where ARE OUR voices?  Why don't we care?  I feel that many women today get so caught up in  political and "justice" issues that they overlook the day to day, personal experiences that are truly a war on women. Because that is where the war is: in the snide comments, the laughing and revelry of belittling women, the treating them as objects. I could go on and on.

Yes, we all make mistakes. But it is what we do with them that really matters. Do we use them to change and make the world around us a little better? Or do we relish them and perpetuate the ills that hurt others?  Why is it such a conundrum?

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